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Frequently Asked Questions - Traffic Citations / Warnings

Option 1: When you receive a traffic citation you must return the specified bond in the "bond envelope" provided with the citation within 14 days. You may simply place the bond in the envelope and send it to the address indicated on the envelope. The address will be the Clerk of District Court for the county in which you were stopped. No signature is required on the citation. This method results in an automatic forfeiture of the bond.

  • NOTE: Citations may be paid online using a credit card through the North Dakota State Court’s website. Visit www.ndcourts.gov/publicsearch to complete a transaction.

Option 2: You may sign and date the appropriate section on the citation to request a court hearing. Once the citation is filled out, you must mail the citation in the envelope provided along with your bond within 14 days. If the court determines that you are not guilty at the hearing, the bond amount will be returned to you.

The Highway Patrol enforces the posted speed limit in normal driving conditions. In inclement weather speed may be enforced at a lower speed than the posted limit.

A written warning is given as a reminder that you have committed a violation. You should do as the officer instructs you to do with the warning. For example, if the warning is for an equipment violation such as a headlight out, you should get the light changed in the specified amount of time. A warning does not require you to send anything back in unless you are instructed to do so.

Many traffic violations are assigned a certain number of points based on the seriousness of the offense. When an operator accumulates 12 or more points on their driving record, their driving privilege will be suspended. If the operator is under 18 and accumulates 6 or more points, their driving privilege is cancelled.

If the number of points assigned to a violation are two or less, the violation is entered on an operator’s driving record in a separate area that is not available to the public.

The purpose of traffic enforcement is to keep the motoring public safe and to prevent injuries and fatalities that result from motor vehicle crashes.  Although fees and points are associated with specific offenses, the primary goal of traffic enforcement is to help change a person's future behavior by providing a penalty for unsafe driving.

State Troopers do concentrate on all types of "serious" crimes. Through their enforcement of traffic offenses, serious crimes such as the transportation of illegal drugs are discovered.

The reason for speed enforcement is for the safety of the motoring public and pedestrians that are along the roadway. Enforcing speed not only reduces the number of crashes but the severity of the crashes that do occur.

Approximately 30 to 40% of all fatal crashes in North Dakota are speed-related.

The Highway Patrol measures speed in one of four ways:

  1. Radar - Doppler radar's with moving and stationary capabilities mounted inside the patrol vehicle.
  2. LIDAR - Hand-held laser speed measuring devices that are used in a stationary position.
  3. Aircraft - Speed is calculated using a time and distance formula.
  4. Pacing - Certified, calibrated speedometers in patrol vehicles are used to match the speed of the violator's vehicle.

The speed limit is 55 mph on gravel, loose dirt, or on loose surface highways and on paved two-lane county and township highways if there is no speed limit posted.

The speed limit is 65 mph on two-lane highways if posted for that speed.

The speed limit is 70 mph on paved four-lane divided highways.

The speed limit is 75 mph on the interstate (I-29 and I-94).

Yes.  North Dakota is a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact.  If you are from one of the 45 states participating in the compact, North Dakota will notify your home state of traffic citations that you receive while in North Dakota.

  • If an operator accumulates 12 or more points, their driving privilege will be suspended for 7 days for every point over 11.  Once the points have been reduced to 11, one point will be reduced for every three-month period during which no points are recorded against the operator’s driving record.
  • Operators may elect to attend an approved defensive driving course which will reduce three points from their driving record.  This three-point reduction can only be used once every 12-month period.  Proof of course completion must be mailed to the NDDOT’s Drivers License Division.
  • Operators issued a citation with a penalty of five points or less may elect to attend an approved defensive driving course in lieu of entry of points on the operator’s driving record.  The operator must notify the court at the time they post their bond and provide proof of course completion to DOT within 30 days.